After a marathon 9-10 months when working from home became the norm across Victoria, employers around the state are now welcoming 50% of staff back to their workplaces as of January 18. This is something to celebrate, a strong sign that unlike many parts of the world we have this virus firmly under control (at the time of writing at least). However, our furry friends may think otherwise, given the unexpected extra love and attention they've received over the past year as our offices moved from distant buildings to the kitchen table or home study! With this difficult but necessary transition underway, Yvonne Hill and the Pets Hotel team are happy to share some practical tips to comfort your pet as you return to work. These tips are mostly focused on our canine pals, given their typically greater need for social interaction than our feline friends:
- 1. Set a predictable daily routine - Like many aspects of good pet care, setting a solid daily routine is key to slowly transitioning your furry friend to a time in the near future when you won't be home quite as often. A good routine will include a similar time every day for waking, feeding, walking and exercise, toilet breaks and sleep. It's all about getting them into a predictable rhythm that reduces the uncertainty that can lead to anxiety.
- 2. Give your pet plenty of exercise at the start of the day - An age-old trick many pet owners swear by, taking your dog for a vigorous walk at the beginning of the day (if your schedule and sleeping pattern allows of course) is a great way to ease their transition as you return to work. A well exercised dog is a tired dog, meaning they'll likely spend some of the time you're at the office snoozing, rather than fretting about your absence : )
- 3. Deal with separation anxiety by gradually spending less time together - The trickiest but most vital step in making your dog comfortable as you return to work (for owner and pet alike) lies in gradually spending less time together while you're at home. According to advice from RSPCA Victoria, start slow – even just 5 minutes alone time for your furry friend is a good start, and learn to downplay your departures and arrivals. This can take time, but your pet will slowly learn that you not being around 9-5 is nothing to fear, especially if evening returns are followed with plenty of cuddles!
- 4. Make your house as comfortable as possible for your furry friend - No doubt many of us turned our homes into our own cosy kingdoms during the long months Melbourne was in some form of lockdown last year. Maintaining that comfort factor is another practical way to help ease your pet's anxiety as you return to the office 9-5 on a more regular basis. From setting aside a specific area of the house where they can rest and play, to playing soothing ambient music in the background during the day, these small tips will make that change easier for all.
- 5. Consider Doggy Daycare as a fun filled alternative! - Last but not least, there's always the option of Doggy Daycare for your pet if you'd prefer they spent your 9-5 office hours in the company of other furry friends. We've been running this popular service at our Port Melbourne and Lara addresses since 1994, giving thousands of pets the benefits of exercise, companionship and other fun filled activities during the day whilst their owners work or tend to other business! We're open from 7 AM – 6.30 PM Monday-Friday (and Saturday-Sunday 9 AM – 4.30 PM at The Pets Hotel Port Melbourne) to suit your busy schedule and our passionate team of pet lovers will ensure they're treated like the VIPs (very important pets) they are!
Interested in Doggy Daycare and our other services for your VIP (Very Important Pet)? Contact our friendly team at The Pets Hotel (Port Melbourne) on (03) 9646 3696 or The Pets Hotel Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286.